The Art of Outreach

Finding, Pitching (and Keeping) New Clients

Operating a small to medium-sized business is tough, especially in the design and marketing world. It goes without saying that all businesses want to grow, so it is vastly important to reach out organically to other local businesses in order to offer services and provide insights, as well as build community leadership.

Research Before Outreach

The first step to sending emails or making those necessary phone calls is to do the research and gather info (even if it just a little) on the company you are attempting to pitch. The same goes for the hierarchy of staff. Chances are a generic email to an [email protected] email won’t get far, but if you can find out who the marketing director is and email or call that person, the chances of getting a response are much greater.

There is also a dance that goes into the outreach. Depending on the industry, you will want to highlight certain campaigns you’ve worked on. For instance, if you have done great work for multiple restaurants, you will want to highlight said work. Just as well, keep in mind which business align with your company’s sensibilities. Chances are if you like a brand or industry, it is easier to pitch your product or service.

Cold Call (aka Cold Emails) Do’s and Don’ts

Most of us start with an email, which is fine. We find a company we want to work with, and find the direct email, then send. That is the easiest first step, but that is just a bread crumb in a long line of correspondences that will hopefully land the gig. What most advice-driven sites don’t tell you is that persistence is key. Most likely, it is not the first conversation that secures the business, but the tenth.

That said, it is imperative to follow up. And continue to follow up. Until you get a cease and desist letter, don’t stop pestering these companies and being proactive. Worse case scenario, they tell you to please stop harassing them; best case scenario is that they see the value in your efforts. Lastly, keep track of each email or call you make, so that you can make sure you are doing it at regular intervals and being creative.

New Angles

What organic outreach means to a company can only be measured by how it works. In our world, it has worked wonders, but we have had to adapt and evolve. For instance, when we brought on Global Food Properties as a client, after months of persistence, it was because we made one more phone call at the right time. The same goes for LauderAle, whom we added to our newsletter mailing list, and they saw how reliable we were and gave us a call. The lesson here is to think outside the box and keep pushing. Worst case scenario, the company or person tells you to stop. In which case, send one or two more emails.

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